The Global Series continues in 2019 with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Buffalo Sabres hitting the ice in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday for the first of back-to-back games.
Buffalo is making its second trip across the pond; the Sabres defeated Anaheim in Finland and Los Angeles in Germany back in 2011. Tampa Bay lost back-to-back games to the Rangers in 2008 in the Czech Republic.
The games mark a homecoming for a few Swedes, including the Lightning’s Victor Hedman, who missed the past two games with an injury but will play Friday. Among the five Swedish nationals with Buffalo is 19-year-old Rasmus Dahlin, who won silver at World Juniors in 2018 for Tre kronor. The other players are forwards Marcus Johansson, Johan Larsson and Victor Olofsson, goaltender Linus Ullmark and defenseman Lawrence Pilut, who was recalled from Rochester (AHL) for the games. In October, Sweden topped non-North American countries with 79 players on season-opening rosters, representing 11.4 percent of the League’s 690 total players.
Aside from the fanfare, four big points are at stake as Buffalo looks to avoid extending its losing streak and Tampa needs to finally right the ship. The Sabres are 1-3-1 in their past five games (including a three-game losing streak) and have been outscored 15-7, a far cry from where they started the season (8-1-1). It’s also been an interesting start for the Lightning, who won 62 games last season, tying the NHL record, and have started off 2019-20 inconsistent (6-5-2).
Lighting vs. Sabres live score, updates, highlights
(All times Eastern)
3:37 p.m. — There is 7:25 left on the clock in the second period. Tampa Bay leads 2-0 and are outshooting Buffalo 21-12. The arena is pretty quiet.
3:25 p.m. — Lightning now 1-for-2 on the power play.
3:23 p.m. — Johan Larsson with a solid shorthanded chance — actually two chances — as he chips the puck past the Lightning defense and comes out of the corner. Andrei Vasilevskiy with the big stops.
3:20 p.m. — Sabres’ Jake McCabe hits Brayden Point with a high-stick to the face — although called for roughing officially. Bolts are already 1-for-1 with the man advantage.
3:12 p.m. — Nothing doing for the Sabres.
3:11 p.m. — Second period begins with the Sabres on the power play for 54 seconds.
First period: Lightning 2, Sabres 0
2:53 p.m. — Now it’s Buffalo’s time on the power play as Erk Cernak is called for interference.
2:49 p.m. — GOAL. Victor Hedman’s one-timer from the point is deflected just above the blue paint by Alex Killorn. Lightning lead 2-0.
2:47 p.m. — Tampa Bay heads to the power play as Rasmus Dahlin is called for interference on Pat Maroon. Dahlin is one of five Swedes on Buffalo’s roster.
2:42 p.m. — Buffalo’s Vladimir Sobotka takes a shot and then is hit low (and kinda late) by Nikita Kucherov. He is helped off the ice as Ralph Krueger has a few choice words for the referees.
2:32 p.m. — Some pushing and shoving in front of the Sabres net after the whistle as Mathieu Joseph goes hard to the net.
2:22 p.m. — GOAL. Brayden Point with the sweet saucer pass to a streaking Nikita Kucherov who buries the one-timer from one knee. He entered the game with one goal in his last nine games. Lightning lead 1-0.
2:20 p.m. — Jeff Skinner with a couple of good looks early including a deflection that just went wide off a Brandon Montour point shot. Skinner shows some disappointment on the bench.
2:16 p.m. — Game on!
2:14 p.m. — Markus Naslund drops the puck.
2:11 p.m. — Swedish anthem played beforehand.
2:08 p.m. — Victor Hedman introduced.
1:41 p.m. — Warmies.
5:36 a.m. — Morning skates in Stockholm.
Sabres’ lineup versus Tampa Bay:
— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) November 8, 2019
5:34 a.m. — It looks like the Bolts’ lone Swede is a go for the game.